Mason, Jackson named to Wooden Award National Ballot
LOS ANGELES – Kansas senior Frank Mason III and freshman Josh Jackson are two of 15 student-athletes on the National Ballot for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award® Presented by Wendy’s® honoring the most outstanding college basketball player, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Saturday morning. The No. 1 Jayhawks are the only school with two semifinalists.
All balloted players have been certified by their university to meet or exceed the qualifications for the Wooden Award. The qualifications include: candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university; candidates must be a full-time student making progress toward graduation and have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average since enrolling in their school; candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court; candidates should contribute to team effort; candidates must excel in both offense and defense; and candidates should be considered on their performance over the course of the entire season.
Mason leads the Big 12 in scoring with a 20.3 average and his 20.6 points per game in league play are also tops in the Big 12. A two-time national and conference player of the week from Petersburg, Virginia, Mason is the only conference player averaging 20 points or more this season. He has 17 games of 20 points or more, including four of his last five and six of his last eight contests.
Showing a knack for taking over games, Mason has led Kansas in scoring in 21 games this season and also leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 50.0 percent. Also in the Big 12, Mason is fourth in assists (4.9), sixth in 3-pointers made per game (2.2), ninth in field goal percentage (48.5) and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0). Mason is 67-for-80 (83.8 percent) from the free throw line in his last nine games, making 7.4 charity shots per contest in that span. Additionally, he is making 51.3 percent (40-for-78) from 3-point range and 2.4 treys per game in Big 12 play.
A seven-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week in 2016-17, Jackson is second on the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game, which is fifth in the Big 12. The two-time Big 12 Player of the Week from Detroit has seven double-doubles in his last 10 outings and his 11 double-doubles in 2016-17 rank tied for second in the Big 12 and has already broke the KU freshman record. Jackson’s 7.2 rebounds per game are sixth in the conference and he leads KU with 50 steals and 32 blocked shots. Jackson is 19-for-37 (51.4 percent) from beyond the arc in his last 12 games.
Voting will take place from March 13th to March 20th, and voters, consisting of nearly 1,000 members of the national college basketball media, take into consideration a player’s entire season of play, as well as opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Fans may vote through the fan voting site, sponsored by Wendy’s, at woodenawardvote.com.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, and the finalists for the Wooden Award, widely considered the most prestigious honor in college basketball, will be announced following the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament and will be the focus of a 30-minute show March 27th on ESPN at 8pm EST.
The 41st annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award to the men’s and women’s most outstanding college basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 on Friday, April 7, 2017. The men’s and women’s John R. Wooden Award All American Teams will be honored during the ceremony, and the 2017 Wooden Award Legends of Coaching Trophy will be presented to Muffet McGraw, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Notre Dame.
Top-ranked Kansas (27-3, 15-2) closes out the regular-season at Oklahoma State Saturday, March 4, at 5 p.m. on ESPN. In 2016-17, Kansas won its 13th consecutive, 17th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 60th conference regular-season titles. The 13-straight league championships ties for the longest in NCAA history with UCLA (1967-79) which was under three coaches. Kansas’ current run, which started in 2005, has been under head coach Bill Self.
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976 by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the John R. Wooden Award® program features the most prestigious individual honors in college basketball. The Wooden Award Trophy is bestowed annually upon the nation’s best male and female player, who have met the selection criteria as set forth by the Award’s creators. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’07), Maya Moore (’09 and ’11), Trey Burke (’13), Doug McDermott (’14), Frank Kaminsky (’15). Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield won the 2016 men’s Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s and Breanna Stewart of Connecticut won the 2016 women’s Wooden Award.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award® has contributed close to a million dollars to the general scholarship fund of the honoree’s University in the name of the All-American recipient. The Award has also enabled more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long basketball camps in the Award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament takes place at the Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award® presentation, and brings together Special Olympics athletes and the Wooden Award All-Americans.
Fans can follow the candidates en route to the Wooden Award presentation and get the latest news by liking the Wooden Award Facebook page or following @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact Ernest Baskerville at (213) 630-5231 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 John R. Wooden Award® Presented by Wendy’s® National Ballot
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
Markelle Fultz, Washington
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
Josh Hart, Villanova
JOSH JACKSON, KANSAS
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Luke Kennard, Duke
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
FRANK MASON III, KANSAS
Malik Monk, Kentucky
Johnathan Motley, Baylor
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga
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